Update July 2022
This article is part of our series of EV travel hacks to drive around the world with confidence with an electric vehicle.
Visiting Spain with an EV
Spain's dynamic metropolises, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural offerings make it an undisputed stop on many travelers’ European vacation itineraries.
To navigate the Iberian peninsula with your EV, we gathered the best trip planning tools, our favorite EV charging apps, and all the things you need to know to travel in Spain and find places to charge your EV.
Finding and paying for charging
Our top picks
The freshly-redesigned Spanish app is a must-have for any visitor in Spain. Electromaps provides by far the best coverage of the peninsula to both find and pays for charging, offering access to many local networks overlooked by its large European competitors. This alone can make a difference between a sweet evening on the terrasse of a restaurant and a sandwich in a highway petrol station.
Don’t forget to top up your account and order the Electromaps fob to make sure you can access even the charging points that don’t take mobile payments.
Its parent company Enel has invested a lot to become a global charging provider and this ambition reflects in the app. JuicePass is probably the only EV app that provides information and payment in Europe, North and South America.
In Spain, JuicePass offers some of the most comprehensive coverage with access and payment to most public charging stations.
On selected charging stations, the app also allows the user to reserve a charging point for a few minutes until they arrive
With more than 1 million users, the PlugSurfing app is a robust tool to find charging in most European countries. The pricing model is fairly transparent with a 10% added commission on public pricing.
Shell New Motion offers one of the largest coverage in Europe with access and payment to more than 275.000 charging points.
The Portuguese app just launched in neighboring Spain. It may not be the most complete but will give you the possibility to pay in most fast charging stations on the highway if you already have an account.
Things to remember
Electromaps and JuicePass should be your best bet when traveling in Spain. They provide access to most charging points in the country while offering attractive prices. If you only pass by Spain or don’t want to create yet another account, PlugSurfing, Shell New Motion, or Miio are good alternatives.
One limitation and it is a big one, paying on most fast charging networks (Repsol, Iberdrola, Zunder) can only be done via their own app (roaming anybody?). So don’t forget to download and sign up for these apps if you want to use them as part of your itinerary.
Plan your itinerary
ABRP or A Better Route Planner is probably the best EV route planning tool in Europe. It is no exception in Spain and will suit the needs of the most demanding users with lots of options and filters available to precisely plan your trip according to your need and preference. With compatible cars or via an additional dongle, ABRP will be able to read your vehicle's state of charge and adjust in real-time to your route and planned stops.
Available fast charging networks
For visitors coming from northern Europe to visit Spain for a few days, navigating the local charging networks can be a daunting task as many networks are not yet connected to the most popular apps used in other markets. So always make sure you managed to download the local app and created an account before venturing with an empty battery. Note also that stations delivering more than 100kW outside the Tesla Superchargers are still rare with the majority being rated at 50kW.
The energy company Repsol is deploying fast chargers in most of its highway service stations and plans to count more than 592 by the end of 2023. You can use the JuicePass app to pay on this network.
One of the largest networks of fast charging stations but it comes with limitations since you will need to use the Iberdrola app (or an expensive rate with Shell Recharge) to pay for charging and many users located outside of Spain reported issues creating an account and having their credit card accepted.
With more than 18 charging stations available on the country’s motorway delivering up to 350kw, Ionity is a reliable option to travel all around Spain. Most payment methods are accepted, including credit cards, most charging cards, and Plug & Charge with compatible vehicles.
Note, some stations offer only a limited number of charging points with sometimes only 4, which means that can be quickly occupied during busy days.
Tesla operates more than 50 Supercharger locations well distributed all around the country.
As of July 2022, Tesla is slowly opening up its network to non-Tesla owners but remember that not all the Tesla Superchargers are open and access can be restricted to customers located in specific countries.
Good to know
Always travel with at least a RFID card/charging fob as many chargers, especially slow AC chargers, are not yet compatible with mobile of contactless payments
Find a place to stay with charging
Charge while you sleep. Charging at a destination is always the most convenient and often cheapest option. With r3charge, you can book more than 5.500 EV-friendly hotels in Spain equipped with EV charging stations or located next to public charging. In one glance, find and compare accommodation options for every budget equipped with electric vehicle chargers.
More info here.